47 In Life

I Survived & Spring Fever


I’m here to report on several things… one being that I survived my dental work. Now, I think you all are the smartest people on the planet, so I’m wondering why you didn’t tell me that Valium doesn’t make you “happy” but rather sedated? Maybe I didn’t mention I was getting Valium. But I did mention that I was hoping my “happy” drugs would make everything ok. I’m not sure what kind of prescription would have made me “happy” but it wasn’t Valium. Really, it’s ok though because I was in quite a state by the time the procedures were under way. My instructions were to take one Valium at bed time and one the morning of, this required that I not operate heavy machinery the day of, and according to the experts my car qualified as heavy machinery. So the children were escorted to and from preschool, a friend delivered an iPod to drown out the drills, and I was delivered safely to the dentist office by my friend Christy. I think she was secretly hoping that I was going to be high when she arrived to transport me and she might have been disappointed when I told her I felt fine. To make a long story short… 2 Valium, nitrous oxide, three Novocaine shots, one really loud iPod, a few tears and 2 and 1/2 hours later I was done and my temporomandibular joints withstood the test of time, barely. And I will never go back… no just kidding, my dentist is very kind, he bought a new boat this week because we don’t have dental insurance, and like I said earlier, I think he felt sorry for me. He said next time my limit is two fillings. I said, “Next time?!” then I body slammed him. After all was said and done I texted Christy to “come get me now“, how nice was that? My arrangements were for the kids to come home around 2 but unfortunately I fell asleep {through phone calls & all} and I slept for a good 4 hours and then I slept all night. It was the best sleep I ever got, maybe dental work isn’t so bad after all. And I got to keep my orange nitrous-oxide-sniffer-majig, for next time, he said again.

My goodness why do I like words so much… that paragraph just took my entire allotted “blog time” this morning.

I had this mental list of things I wanted to discuss with you all and now I feel like time is up… so briefly, and changing gears completely…

I am really, really, really enjoying Ann Voscamp’s new book One Thousand Gifts and I’m so glad it’s popular because I think she is theologically on track with the Gospel and I love when people go crazy over truth! It’s been so good to read during this last week and a half, especially in light of recent tragedies. I haven’t finished it yet… I’m in chapter 8, so I hate to give opinion before I’ve completely read but I’m going to go out on a limb and tell y’all it’s great. I’m not a very lyrical person and I struggle sometimes with her writing style, but I very much appreciate her message and have been so encouraged. She quotes some of my favorites and here are just a few of my highlights:

C.S. Lewis said it too, to a man looking for fullest life: “If you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness, you will find it quite intolerable: think of it as a place of training and correction and it’s not so bad.

The highest form of prayer is to the goodness of God… God only desires that our soul cling to him with all of its strength, in particular, that it clings to his goodness. For of all the things our minds can think about God, it is thinking upon his goodness that pleases him the most and brings the most profit to our soul. {Julian of Norwich}

The dark can give birth to life; suffering can deliver grace.

The hard discipline to number the griefs as grace because as the surgeon would cut open my son’s finger to heal him, so God chooses to cut into my ungrateful heart to make me whole.

The life of true happiness is rooted in the soul of awed adoration. It does not grow elsewhere. {J.I. Packer}

Why is remembering and giving thanks the core of Christ-faith? Because remembering with thanks is what causes us to trust– to really believe.

Chapter 8 is about stress… I may need to read it two or three times because right now it is hitting home for me.

And speaking of the dark giving birth to life… I started seeds on February 23rd and this past weekend we put my little sproutlings in the ground. And because time is short I’ll just share pictures.


Cucumbers, yellow squash, zucchini, butternut squash and the tomatoes are still here with me getting a little bigger and a little stronger!







Justin’s mom collected these wild lilies, aren’t they gorgeous!?


Justin being brave and checking on bees suitless.


And then he got stung and moved away quickly…



cupcake helper

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  • JulieJ
    March 18, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Darby, I’m a longtime reader but a first-time commenter. I love your blog! Glad to hear you survived your dental ordeal. I had to have eight (!) cavities filled in the last year, and it was horrific. I’m also a big brusher/flosser…I guess I’ve just got bum teeth. I’m glad you made it through; you’ve given me courage to (maybe!) go back πŸ™‚

    Your pictures are gorgeous, as always. Happy weekend!


  • Amy
    March 18, 2011 at 9:07 am

    So glad you survived the dental torture chamber! You know I really love this post. But the one thing I am taking away from today that is life changing for me is your blog time limit. That’s awesome! I need to place a limit on blog and computer time for myself and never really thought about it as being an action I could actually do for myself. Thanks for mentioning it. You never know where others are going to glean little bits of wisdom. BTW I laughed out loud when you said, “then I body slammed him”. Hilarious!

  • paige
    March 18, 2011 at 9:09 am

    i had a crown “temporarily” put in a few months ago.
    temporarily because i have to go back & have it reset. however she warned me i might need a flippin root canal. lord have mercy. i thought the blasted crown thing was bad enough. she informed me that nurses are always her worst patients. whatever

    sorry you had such an ordeal.

    i’m reading 1000 gifts too. awesome. i too try to follow her style of writing but i LOVE the principal!

    have a great weekend you cute thing

  • paige
    March 18, 2011 at 9:09 am

    ps-i’ve yet to make the appointment. which technically should have occured months ago.
    i am indeed a wuss.
    did i spell that right?

  • Liz @ A Happy Haven
    March 18, 2011 at 9:11 am

    So jealous of your sunshine and soon to be fruitful garden! {Also, that your dentist days are behind you for now!} The weather is just warming up in Chicago and I can’t wait to plant some herbs on my patio {not as good as in the ground}. Your little rovers look so happy! Have a great weekend!

  • Ivonne Loving
    March 18, 2011 at 9:16 am

    OMG! This was not the post to read when I was planning to schedule for a dental appointment. I have a serious fear of dentists, the last time I went was right after my son was born,that was almost 3 years ago! Was it really expensive? We have dental insurance but it only covers $1000 a year. It has been so long, I have no idea on what to expect price wise.
    Well, thanks for the scare, I’ll be off to get an appointment now!

  • beki
    March 18, 2011 at 9:21 am

    I’m so glad you survived! I’ve been thinking about you πŸ™‚ That book is going on my to-read list. I need something right now…if only I can stay awake long enough (I’ve slept more in the past few weeks than I have in years!!)

  • Ms. Bright
    March 18, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Oh my goodness, that brought back awful memories of my last Dentist visit!

    I love that quote by C.S. Lewis, always have, and it’s such a good reminder!

    Your veggies are looking great!

  • Brenna
    March 18, 2011 at 9:28 am

    3 years ago, also with out dental insurance… I bit into a mini snickers bar on halloween and my tooth crumbled… It was the most horrific thing ever, you would have thought I was dying. I called the dentist office at 7pm and left what had to be a 5 minute message where I begged them to call me back as soon as possible because my tooth crumbled and it was an E MER GEN CEEEE did they under stand? I MUST have the first appointment! So at 7am they called and told me to come right in.. As it turns out 2 years before that I had a cavity and went to a dentist who supposedly had done his job correctly, well he did his job and informed me I needed a root canal, so I made the appt for that, he did that and put a temporary something on my tooth and told me I needed to have it sealed… well I didn’t do that..and because 1) I didn’t follow instructions and 2) he did not clean the tooth properly the tooth crumbled. and an emergency dental visit, a cleaning and a tooth re building, a trip back to Florida and a faux tooth fitting and installation later I was out about 3K…yes $3,000 dollars. 1k for the original root canal, $700 for the emergency work after the crumble, and about $1250 for the lovely porcelain number. So the moral of the story is…DON’T PUT OFF YOUR DENTAL WORK!

  • Hope
    March 18, 2011 at 9:34 am

    I adore your blog, but gotta say that picture of the doll and the exacto knife is gonna give me nightmares! Glad you survived πŸ˜‰

  • Mott Smith
    March 18, 2011 at 10:16 am

    I have never enjoyed going to the dentist. There’s just something about that high-pitched drill that sends chills over me! Plus I’m claustrophobic, too and do not like being hovered over. But I manage when I have to. lol

    You’re the second person that’s mentioned that book so I must get it. It sounds wonderful–and, as always, your pics are A-MAZ-ING!

  • Taylor@WiseFamilyLiving
    March 18, 2011 at 11:04 am

    So glad you are all better. I was thinking of trying to start a garden this year. Is it too late? Now keep in mind, that nothing I have ever planted has lived. Nothing. Except the weeds. So, it makes logical sense that I want to plant an entire food garden, right? Any suggestions?

  • lindsey
    March 18, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Versed. I think that’s the “happy” drug you’re thinking about. Unfortunately, it’s not prescribed for routine dental care. I’m in dental school to become an *eek* dentist. (please don’t hate me and/or delete my comment.) So if you have any questions, I can try my best to answer or I have plenty of “real” dentists at my disposal. I’m sorry that you hate dental work so much, but at least you’re hanging in there and getting it done. Props to you. Don’t let the hard part sway you. Once you get past all these restorations, the maintenance of them will be much easier. Good luck! Love reading the blog!

  • lindsey
    March 18, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Oh and not to be too pushy, but usually the cavities between your teeth are from your flossing habits. I believe you when you say you floss. My husband is an avid flosser too, but recently when he came in for a cleaning, I realized that he doesn’t have good technique. You’re supposed to put the floss down between the teeth and the pull the floss against the tooth, cupping it as you pull up. Most people just push it in and pop it out, but you should be cleaning the sides of the teeth where plaque gathers allowing cavities to form. I don’t know if that’s part of what happened to you, but I just thought i’d throw that out there in case it was. Honestly, I don’t think I ever brushed or flossed correctly until we went over it in class. :0) Hope that was helpful!

  • erin
    March 18, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    I love your blog and the Darby Doll! I cry everytime I go to the dentist,he is a friend of the family and I have never had a cavity. I grind my teeth, have receeding gums and it is the most painful thing to clean my teeth (even with numbing gel). I am scheduled to go back in June and I am dreading it I would rather go to the OBGYN then the dentist, I know, crazy. I am seriously thinking I need drugs the next time, I am placing a call to the Dentist soon to discuss this! Glad you got through it!

  • Kate
    March 18, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    I absolutely love the dirty feet picture! I so wish we were warm enough here to have dirty toes but for now it’s muddy galoshes as the snow melts. Thank you so much for sharing with us. You always make me smile.

  • Jennifer
    March 18, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    I’m so glad that your dental work is over and done with for now; I should go to the dentist, argghhhh.
    Isn’t Ann’s book wonderful? I finished it hours before the beginning of Erick’s ordeal and it was such a comfort to me!
    Love the pictures!!!!

  • Lis
    March 18, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Darby, I don’t know why I was thinking of this… probably because I was showing my husband your blog and the photos of you garden starting up and I said “Do you know where she lives?” “No” he says, “Alabama” I say “she has a garden already.” As I stare outside at another day of pouring down rain and 48 degrees – who says temperate climates are great, blah!

    Anyway, back to the point of Alabama… does your family have accents? My brother-in-law grew up in Montgomery, Alabama and has a very thick accent. So I was just curious, your kids are already so darling, but with an accent, well that would just make me melt. Sorry for the weird question ((blush))

  • Jen
    March 18, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Your blog is one of my absolute favorites to peek in on. I get silly giddy when ‘darby girl’ makes an appearance. πŸ™‚

  • Jen
    March 18, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Your blog is one of my absolute favorites to peek in on. I get silly giddy when β€˜darby girl’ makes an appearance.

  • Jennifer H
    March 18, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Thank you! Thank you for your sweet spirit and for devoting the time to share your life, trials and heart with us. But thank you even more for helping me realize that I am not the only rational, educated dentist office phobe out there. I too require the sniffermajig, some pharmaceutical courage (sanity) and a loud iPod. I have to go in for my 2 year checkup (he he) next month. I’ll remember this post and “woman up” for it…. Got any valium left?

    I’m gonna go by the book you mentioned too, it’s almost pool time and I need a good read.

    Enjoying you and your sweet family, War Eagle

    Jennifer “The Gift Guru”

  • Leslie
    March 18, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    I just love reading your blog!! I wish I could remember how I found it. You seem like such an amazing mom, friend and wife. Your family is absolutely gorgeous by the way! We sell grass-fed beef here in west Texas and a few people have asked us about doing raw honey. We don’t know the first thing about it but I love seeing all that you do. Anyway thanks for being an inspiration!! leslie

  • JennSimp
    March 18, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Glad you made it through…I’m in “the chair next week” and dreading the happy gas as well… We missed you last weekend at OOC! Sorry for the late night call, it was all AK!!

  • Perfecting Pru
    March 18, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    I’m so pleased that you survived. You were in my thoughts on Tuesday and I am so pleased to see that you stayed strong throughout the whole thing.

    Such a funny post – you have made my bad day so much better. Have a great weekend.

  • christy
    March 18, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    I don’t know if I’ve ever commented before either (mostly because I get your posts via email). But now that I finally have my own blog, I’m trying to get in the habit of commenting.

    First of all, I just LOVE your blog. Your heart for your kiddos, family, and God are just so inspiring to me. Your sense of humor is so hysterical too (my all time favorite was when Justin gave you cheese & sausage for v-day – that totally sounds like something my hubby would do and still makes me crack up!) I also think we lead parallel lives. I have 2 girls and a boy also and I think we’re ahead of you by 1 year or so (my kiddos are 7, 5, and 3). And Rover reminds me so much of my little guy, Zach. He is obsessed with mowers, tractors, cars, and anything that moves. Isn’t it fun to see the differences between the little guy and the girls? So cute!

    Finally – your pictures just blow me away. like really. I could sit and look at your pics all. day. long. You are so incredibly talented! I wish I had just a smidgen of your talent! I am taking an slr class in April and hope to learn how to capture nice crisp photos like yours. My pics are never crisp and I know it is operator error, so I love reading any photo posts you do as well!

    oh, I also hail from IL like your parents and we are still freezing! looking outside right now and it’s HAILING. yucko!

    thanks for sharing and I’m glad you survived your dentist apt! I can totally sympathize with you. One of the most horrible events in my life involved a dentist, an “oral sedation” pill that did not work, and about 4 hours of gum debrisment or whatever the heck it’s called. Not fun.

    take care,
    Christy πŸ™‚

  • Angela
    March 18, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    I haven’t read Ann Voskamp’s book yet but I subscribe to her blog and read it daily. I agree…she does seem to be theologically correct. She has encouraged me a lot as a homeschooling mom. I love your blog too!

  • Abby Maddox
    March 18, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    That picture of Justin and JM on the tractor makes me want to move to the country and become farmers…immediately. Now, if I could only develop a love of growing things (ok, maybe it’s not the growing so much as the watering and weeding…which is how you make them grow…) to go along with this intense desire to be a farmer. Will you teach me to love it?

  • Jessica
    March 18, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    I recognize that bunny that Morgan’s hugging! πŸ˜‰ So sorry to hear that you didn’t get any “happy” drugs – sounds like it was pretty rough! πŸ™ Hopefully there won’t be a “next time”! I loved reading those quotes from your book…might have to go look into it – I hadn’t heard of the book. I’m jealous of your growing garden!! I wish that we could plant vegetables here…I just can’t even keep flowers alive, so I think a vegetable garden would be a big waste of money! Playing on the farm looks like lots of fun…I love the picture of JM’s dirty feet. πŸ™‚

  • cousin
    March 18, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    So glad you survived! It was entertaining talking with you after your “event.” You were a little slurry:) Love you! XO

  • Dina
    March 18, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    So happy to see that Justin drives a Massey Ferguson-that’s who my husband works for, AGCO!

  • lane
    March 18, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    I just started reading one thousand gifts as well….loving it….she is such a beautiful writer.

  • Melissab74
    March 18, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    I do love that photo of JM and Justin on the tractor! All little boys should get to ride a tractor! My two sure love it. And those dirty little feet….precious!

  • Melanie Marsh
    March 18, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    I LOVE the lilies!

  • Katie@ Noodle and Boof
    March 18, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Nothing worse than a toothache! Glad you survived! Your garden sure looks like it’s off to a great start! YUM!

  • Alli
    March 18, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    oh Darby- glad to hear you got that over with! I hate going to the dentist!
    I love to see those dirty toes– looks like you guys are enjoying some warm weather.. we are still being teased up here.. waiting for the real thing!

  • Erin
    March 19, 2011 at 1:19 am

    the “and then i body slammed him” part made me literally laugh out loud. thanks for that, its a good note to go to sleep on!

  • Lindsey
    March 19, 2011 at 9:28 am

    I just finished One Thousand Gifts. I have to say this is now probably my favorite book of all time and it was life changing. And yes, she is right on Biblically. I hope this book causes a great movement!

  • cat from CIC
    March 19, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    HA! love the Darby doll picture. Perffect! You are so funny! And, so glad things are all over with now. as always, love your photos. πŸ™‚ enjoying this Alabama spring weather too now that we’re back in B-ham. it’s good to be back. πŸ™‚

  • rebecca
    March 20, 2011 at 4:25 am

    i’m LOVING the pic of the dirty bare feet.

  • julie
    March 20, 2011 at 6:24 am

    oh no darby doll’s dentist took an xacto to her teeth. on a happy note…that book is absolutely amazing! did you just start it? love your cute kiddos πŸ™‚

  • Laura Palmore
    March 20, 2011 at 8:58 am

    Darby, congrats on surviving the dentist – its not my favorite place either! I wanted to share with you my thanks for your recipe and tried and true tips for your homemade peppermint patties! My future daughter-in-love introduced me to your blog…she was introduced by her best friend and considering she’s marrying my son who grew up in the town you live in, she’s a huge fan! Anyway, we had her first bridal shower this weekend and I made the peppermint patties….she was so excited and they were wonderful! In the midst of the shower when I mentioned they were “Darby’s” peppermint patties, we found several other followers in the group. Thank you so much for adding to our special occasion and for sharing your life with us!

  • Beth
    March 20, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Loved the description of your dental appt.! I laughed out loud as I read! Your garden has inspired me! I have been wanting to plant a garden, but seeing yours makes me know I’m getting my hiney in gear (and my hubby!) Love your blog:)

  • Kelley
    March 21, 2011 at 7:50 am

    So glad you survived unscathed!

  • katie
    March 21, 2011 at 9:07 am

    so sorry about dental woes. we paid $3000 out of pocket for mary thomas to have an echo on her heart. all we got out of it was an ultrasound pic of her four chambers…not even the slightest bit of “happy” meds! ha!

    jm’s feet made me think of that book “little black sambo” i laughed out loud when i saw all that dirt and pray for you when you clean your tub!

  • Holly
    March 21, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    That dental work sounds awful!! And I’m dying to know what your allotted blog time is. Mine is something like 20 minutes once a month, unfortunately!

  • Jennifer
    March 21, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Love the dirty toes…going to check out that book this week, need it it my life right now. Oh, the dentist, ugg! While in college I was a dental assitant. I have no idea how I handled that job since I am a huge chicken when it comes to the dentist now. Happy Spring, hoping it hits Wisconsin soon. lol

  • Regina
    March 21, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    I always love your Darby doll pictures! I am glad everything went well at the dentist. Those lilys are amazing I’ve never seen any that large before! we are getting dumped on with snow here (again). So no pretty flowers to see around here for a while…